One of my besties and an avid skier, Gina, requested I share the story about my first time skiing… ya know… since it’s that time of year and all. She loves this story because she saw the video and laughed her ass off. As did all my Oneonta buddies. And the majority of my friends.
Yes, yes… there WAS a video. I’ll be honest, this story I’m about to tell, doesn’t even do it justice. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy ruined my hopes of winning America’s Funniest Home Videos, which destroyed any evidence this event existed; therefore, I must re-tell the version from my memory.
It was my senior year of high school. My high school boyfriend, Ryan, had invited me to go skiing with his family during February break. But there was a problem.
I have never skied before. Ever.
Thankfully, this invitation came around November. My family had decided to stay local for winter break (It was the year Y2K was about to go down… and people got a little crazy about it.) Instead of going on a cruise or relaxing on the beach, my family decided to head upstate to the ranch we usually vacation at during the summer. So the last week of December 1999 was going to be spent learning how to ski.
I was not looking forward to this at all. I hate the cold. I hate wearing jackets. I don’t like feeling out of control. I hate shoveling snow (ok, the last hate has nothing to do with skiing, but it is important that you know that.)
I took one lesson with the cute cowboys-turned-ski instructors. One. They taught me how to move my skis to form a pizza pie shape, which would help me from heading straight into the ski lodge. Go slow. Glide side to side. You will be fine, they said.
My brother and I took the lift halfway up the hill. In the video, you see the both of us sliding out to the middle of the hill and face in the downward direction. My brother goes first. He glides from side to side with ease, making his way down the mountain and softly hitting the hay bales that created a barrier at the end of the hill. Safety first. I had the hang of it. I mean, the hill wasn’t THAT bad… a small step above a bunny hill. During the lessons, we didn’t go up very far, so how tough could it really be? If I listen to their instructions, I should be fine. They didn’t give me ski poles (odd – but then again, what did I know at the time), they pointed to the lift and I was on my way.
Everyone claps. He raises his hands in triumph. Now, it’s my turn.
I start out like a pro. Weeee! I was skiing! I was so proud of myself. I was listening to the instructions I was given, I’m taking my time, I’m going from side to side… my skis are cooperating…
…until they’re not. I am no longer drifting side to side with ease. Instead, I am going directly downhill, skis parallel, headed straight for the hay bales. And I’m going FAST.
In the video, you can hear my voice, small at first, and louder as I got closer and closer to the camera. I am screaming.
In the video, you can hear the by-standers yelling, “PLOW! PLOW! PLOW!” as I am flying like Superman, unable to control the skiis or my voice for that matter.
Whizzing down the hill, I plow directly into the hay bales that are supposed to STOP me from flying into the ski lodge.
Oh… they stopped me, alright. I hit the hay bales with such force, that I flew OVER them, the skis ejecting… and me sliding down the other side.
My parents filmed the entire experience. Lucky me. I heard the applause and laughter from the other side of the hay bales. Mortified, I dusted myself off and retreated to the lodge. I was physically ok, but my ego was not. It was the talk of the ranch for the remainder of the week.
The lesson here? Never trust a cute cowboy dressed as a cute ski instructor to get you safely down a bunny hill. Especially if it’s your first time.
What is something that you were reluctant to try for the first time? Did you fail?
If so, did you try again?